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Assessing and Managing Chemicals under TSCA

Risk Evaluation for 1,2-Dichloroethane

EPA designated 1,2-dichloroethane as a high priority chemical in December 2019 and the chemical is currently undergoing risk evaluation.

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Background on 1,2-Dichloroethane

1,2-Dichloroethane (CASRN 107-06-2) is a colorless liquid, with a pleasant, chloroform-like odor, and is highly flammable. The primary use of 1,2-dichloroethane is in plastic material manufacturing. Information from the 2016 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) for 1,2-dichloroethane indicates the reported volume is between 20 and 30 billion lbs/year.  

Uses of 1,2-Dichloroethane

In the final scope, EPA identified conditions of use associated with the manufacturing (including importing); processing; distribution in commerce; industrial, commercial and consumer uses; and disposal of 1,2-dichloroethane, for example:

  • In the manufacturing of petrochemical, plastic material and resin, and other basic organic chemicals;
  • In the manufacturing of petroleum and coal products, and petroleum production;
  • In adhesives and sealants, and heat transferring agents;
  • In lubricants and greases;
  • In solvents (for cleaning and degreasing);
  • As an industrial oxidizing inhibitor;
  • As a lead scavenger in fuels; and
  • In plastic and rubber products.

The above listed conditions of use are ways that a person or the environment could be potentially exposed to this chemical. However, when conducting a risk evaluation, EPA also considers the hazards (i.e. health effects or environmental impacts) that could occur from coming in contact with a chemical.

Recent Activities and Opportunities for Public Comment

In August 2020, EPA published a final scope document outlining the hazards, exposures, conditions of use, and the potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations the agency expects to consider in its risk evaluation. The agency released the draft scope in April 2020 and took public comments on the draft document.

As EPA continues to move through the risk evaluation process there will be additional opportunities for public comment, including a public comment period on the draft risk evaluation. In addition to public comment periods, EPA will continue to engage with stakeholders as it refines the risk evaluation and stakeholders should reach out to EPA via the staff contact to engage with the agency.